Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Viva la Media Guide

Perhaps it is because this was always, from 1980 to now, an area that I firmly believed was never any business of the NCAA, but I dance tonight on the grave of rule 13-5-A and dozens of other picayune rules that existed not as much to "level" the playfield as increase the bureaucracy.

13-5-A, which will eliminate restrictions on sending printed recruiting materials to recruits. Conferences still will be prohibited from sending printed recruiting materials.

So fire up the printing presses, fellas.  We can only hope the byzantine restrictions on page count, color and customization are next.

Why?  Because it is the -- dare I say -- First Amendment right of a university to recruit for students with whatever tools they choose.  And if Missouri wants to put a Vogue-like fashion spread of it's NIKE gear in the football guide, if Texas or Notre Dame want phone book scale guides, it is not any business of the University of North Carolina.

If a smaller institution wants to put it's eggs in the single basket of a high-turbo media guide, it's up to them to decide if that's good or bad.

And if the administration of one institution thinks it is foolish that others "waste" - be that green the folding kind or the save the earth kind - then here's a shocking revelation.

Don't do what the Jones do.

Similarly, the NCAA is recognizing that the communications world has past them by.  That students REALLY do want to text communicate rather than use a dead technology to them like voice or email.  Thus also gone this week:

13-3, which will eliminate restrictions on methods and modes of communication during recruiting.

 Let's add in, getting the national out of the business of forcing a school to use reports.

13-4, which will eliminate the requirement that institutions provide materials such as the banned-drug list and Academic Progress Rate data to recruits.

Guess what?  Recruits already know these things.

To do things that just make sense:

16-4, which will allow institutions, conferences or the NCAA to pay for medical and related expenses for a student-athlete.

To not make kids choose between state or national athletic appearances their talent has earned.

16-8, which will allow student-athletes to receive actual and necessary expenses and “reasonable benefits” associated with a national team practice and competition and also will allow institutions to pay for any number of national team tryouts and championship events.

 Let's hope this is the start of a revolution in the rulebook where national is going to spend more time on the big issues.

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